Thursday, June 25, 2015

And Now For Something Completely Different...

This pillow top has been sitting on a chair in the sewing room for a couple of months now and I thought I'd share it with you so that you can have a break from Danuta's Garden and nine-patch blocks for a bit.

In need of a colour fix, I made it right after I finished with the subtle tones of Sea Glass, digging into a pile of fabrics that I've been setting aside for a Fruit Salad quilt, and this was the result.

Pillows can be quite cathartic for the frenetic side of my quilting personality - you know, the side of you that wants to make everything that they see and do it now. I like seeing the mini quilts that others make but the practical side of me wants something more functional when all is said and done, and a pillow fits the bill.

It's a great you to play with fabrics that you've been looking at out of the corner of your eye, or trying a new technique, and (in theory) you have a finished project much faster than it takes to finish a quilt.

Of course the fact that this pillow top has been sitting unfinished for a few months sort of blows that last piece of logic to bits, but finishing them quickly can be done :). I got stuck at what to use for backing, but if I really set my mind to it I'm thinking that there is something in my stash that will work. Ya think?!

It's very simply machine quilted, and I stitched the top directly to the batting. Every time I do this I'm convinced that the batting will totally gum up the bobbin casing of my machine, but it's a low pile batt and worked beautifully.

At 20" square it's nice and large - but I think I'm going to have to do a little surgery on the corners because, once again, the filling doesn't fill them. Who's in charge of quality control anyway?...M

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Back To The Cutting Board

Progress on the Danuta's Garden nine-patch blocks continues with lots of different floral combinations now coming into play.

But it looks like maybe I need a counting tutorial because I'm short one square for this block.

I'm trying to have each combination different from the rest, and if there are duplicates I'm switching up which fabric there are five squares of and which there are four.

There's some second guessing going on about a few of the colour combinations but I'm going to sew them all as planned and then see if there are any that really don't work. They all worked nicely together when the fabrics were pulled so I'm thinking it will still come together.

Including the one that still needs one more square, I've made seven in fairly short order.

I'm tempted to say that I'm rolling right along with this one, but that's usually the kiss of death after which things grind to a screeching halt, so I'll just keep that to myself. :) ....M

Friday, June 19, 2015

A Five-Star Week

There's been lots of gardening and yard chores on the schedule this week but I still find myself with a small collection of finished star blocks for my border. This print came from mom's stash and is really beautiful - blue geraniums, orchids and hydrangea. I've never seen it in a shop but have always loved it and it is nice having a memento of mom in the mix.

Being able to pick them up whenever there's a spare minute helps move things along, even just a little bit. It also helps to sit and work out some of those kinks from weeding and pruning and planting :).

I think that this is the only Liberty print that I have used, but I just love it.

If you look closely you'll see that I had to stitch the centre block to make it large enough, but that's what I love about quilting. With so many pre-packaged kits it's always fun to find those 'make do' blocks when I look at a quilt. For me it's all about using it up!

The variety is starting to build nicely.

I might switch to making a few 9-patches just to change things up. Or maybe something completely different. My hands and head are getting itchy for a change of scenery; such a short attention span.

One more close-up of this one, just because I love the print....M

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Day of Rest

We seem to have been busier than usual lately, running all week long, including a golf tournament yesterday, so we're happy that today is Sunday, a day of rest. It's going to be a lazy day to catch our breath and get ready for the coming week. Much of it (for me anyway) will be spent sewing on the deck enjoying the garden and hand stitching blocks for Danuta's Garden.

My peonies are just starting to bloom and there are going to be tons of them. The plants are finally established and I am thrilled. Most of them were planted in 2011 so 'til now we've only had a few blossoms each year from the younger plants. This is the year that changes everything.

I've made one new star block and a 9-patch block this week, but that's it. There was a little cutting done - the yellow for the stars - but no time for much else.

Enjoy your Sunday, and I hope that you get to put your feet up and relax too....M

Monday, June 08, 2015

Mission Accomplished...Almost

There wasn't as much left to cut for my blocks as I thought so now all of the prints are cut, I just need to cut the yellow for the stars.

Funny, when you look at the two piles of blocks it doesn't look like that much. The stars are on the left and the 9-patches on the right.

For the 9-patch blocks I paired most of the fabrics before I cut so that I'd cut only what I need and not have lots of leftover squares. I tried to avoid too many duplicates of the same combinations to keep it interesting.

When I saw all the prints together I was happy with the combination. The first few blocks that I had pieced weren't really getting me too excited but when I see the prints all together I'm happy with the combination. There were one or two in the pile that I culled but there's still lots of variety.

In keeping with the garden theme they are all floral/organic prints. When all is said and done I think it's going to be greener than I had imagined, but that's okay - it's supposed to be a 'garden'.

So, the list maker in me is happy to have both of these piles able to be stroked off my 'to do' list. Now I just hope that I have enough of the yellow background fabric....M

p.s. Anne and a few friends were up bright and early this morning (now June 10) for the Edge of 17 - The Ottawa Valley Shop Hop. Between now and June 13, eight shops are waiting to stamp your passport for your chance to win the fabulous grand prize - an overnight getaway and a basket full of quilting goodies. If you're in the area and looking for something to do it looks like great fun; all of the participating shops are listed at the link above. Looking forward to seeing what she comes home with!

Saturday, June 06, 2015


Last weekend I cut like a madwoman trying to get all of the pieces for the Danuta's Garden 9-patch and star blocks cut so that I could sew to my heart's content. We were getting ready for a trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake and I had great plans for putting those 12 hours in the car to good use. I was so sure of how much I was going to get done that I was still cutting a few strips for yellow triangles early Sunday morning as the Official Cookie Tester was locking the door behind me.

Well, all that planning and cutting and nothing. The closest I got to picking up my stitching at all was moving it from our luggage to a night table. Guess I just needed the break.

Our travels included a stop at Font Hill's wonderful The Quilting Bee (I could live there). I was looking for a Creative Grid non-skid ruler for Anne and also found this little collection of fabrics for me. Niagara was beautiful and, as always, very tough to leave.

The cutting mat and rulers still on the kitchen table so maybe I'll finish up my cutting this weekend....M